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Pancreatic cancer primary tumor size measurements are often discordant between computed tomography (CT) and pathologic specimen after resection. Dimensions of the primary tumor are increasingly relevant in an era of highly conformal radiotherapy. METHODS AND
We retrospectively evaluated 97 consecutive patients with resected pancreatic cancer at two Boston hospitals. All patients had CT scans before surgical resection. Primary endpoints were maximum dimension (in millimeters) of the primary tumor in any direction as reported by the radiologist on CT and by the pathologist for the resected gross fresh specimen. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) findings were analyzed if available.
Of the patients, 87 (90%) had preoperative CT scans available for review and 46 (47%) had EUS. Among proximal tumors (n = 69), 40 (58%) had pathologic duodenal invasion, which was seen on CT in only 3 cases. The pathologic tumor size was a median of 7 mm larger compared with CT size for the same patient (range, -15 to 43 mm; p < 0.0001), with 73 patients (84%) having a primary tumor larger on pathology than CT. Endoscopic ultrasound was somewhat more accurate, with pathologic tumor size being a median of only 5 mm larger compared with EUS size (range, -15 to 35 mm; p = 0.0003).
Computed tomography scans significantly under-represent pancreatic cancer tumor size compared with pathologic specimens in resectable cases. We propose a clinical target volume expansion formula for the primary tumor based on our data. The high rate of pathologic duodenal invasion suggests a risk of duodenal undercoverage with highly conformal radiotherapy.
Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, MA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
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The technique of spraying a tissue specimen with a thin coat of a heavy metal such as platinum. The specimen is sprayed from an oblique angle, which results in the uneven deposition of the coating. The varying thicknesses create a shadow effect and give a three-dimensional appearance to the specimen.
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